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00000173-38e2-d855-adf7-bcef36ec0000In an effort to provide voters with information about the candidates for federal office in the 2014 general elections, Iowa Public Radio staff contacted the Democratic and Republican candidates competing in Iowa’s open congressional races and has compiled this guide. Please note that none of the candidate claims have been fact-checked. Click on the candidate’s name to see the information, or scroll through the postings below. US Senate (Replacing Senator Tom Harkin) Republican: Democrat:Joni Ernst Bruce Braley US House First Congressional District (Replacing Representative Bruce Braley) Republican: Democrat:Rod Blum Pat Murphy Second Congressional District (Incumbent: Dave Loebsack) Republican: Democrat:Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks Dave Loebsack Third Congressional District (Replacing Representative Tom Latham) Republican: Democrat:David Young Staci Appel Fourth Congressional District (Incumbent: Steve King) Republican: Democrat:Steve King Jim Mowrer Iowa Governor (Incumbent: Terry Branstad) Republican: Democrat:Terry Branstad Jack Hatch

Candidates in Iowa's 1st Spar in First Debate

Photos provided by candidate's campaigns

Debating last night in Cedar Rapids, the Democratic and Republican candidates to replace incumbent  Bruce Braley in Congress sparred over issues ranging from immigration and Middle East foreign policy to the nation’s minimum wage.Comments on raising the minimum wage were perhaps the testiest exchange between Republican Rod Blum and Democrat Pat Murphy.

Blum, while admitting the Middle Class is stressed, says creating jobs is the answer.  He says states should set their own minimum wage because of differing  economies and standards of living among the states, saying: “Prosperity can’t be legislated."  He cites Congressional Budget Office estimates that raising the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour would cost 500,000 jobs, shocking the nation’s economy.

Democrat Murphy, citing his proposal in the Iowa legislature for increasing Iowa’s minimum wage, says: “If you want to live the American dream, if you want to work hard and play by the rules, you can’t do it at $7.25 an hour.  If you raise it to $10.10 an hour, 28 thousand Iowa families go off food stamps.”

Republican Blum says Democrats want to be talking about raising the minimum wage because they don’t want to be talking about how bad this economy is.